In just three days, the Giants return to action for a shot at their first win of the season.
Keep an eye on these players in the Giants' home opener against the Lions
Big Blue has an extra day to prepare for their home opener – the Giants host the 1-0 Lions on Monday Night Football, meaning the Giants start 2017 with a pair of primetime games. After their second full practice of the week, coordinators and players met with the media to discuss the keys for victory on Monday night.
Here is what we learned Friday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center:
1. SHUTTING DOWN STAFFORD
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford came out hot to start the 2017 season, throwing four touchdown passes and completing better than 70 percent of his passes. The Lions all-time leader in passing yards, touchdowns and completions wasn't at his best when Detroit visited MetLife Stadium last season because of a finger injury. Now healthy and off to a 1-0 start, the Giants defense is taking notice.
"He [Stafford] definitely trusts his arm," cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie said. "You can see on film, he has tight coverage, but somehow he zips it in there. When he's healthy, he's got a real strong arm."
"Same thing we've been seeing, the world has been seeing, since he's been in the league," defensive tackle Damon Harrison said. "He's a veteran quarterback. Highest paid quarterback in the league now. Much respect to him for getting his due, but he's a slinger. He's a gunslinger. He can make all the throws and he's athletic."
2. GIANTS INJURY REPORT; BECKHAM STILL LIMITED
Did not practice: None
Limited: WR Odell Beckham Jr. (ankle), T Bobby Hart (ankle), LB Keenan Robinson (concussion)
Full participation: DT Jay Bromley (knee), CB Janoris Jenkins (ankle/hand), WR Tavarres King (ankle)
Beckham continues to work his way back from an ankle injury that has kept him out of action since the Giants' second preseason game. The three-time Pro Bowler practiced for a second straight day on Friday, and was listed as limited on the injury report.
"I'm working my best to get to 100, so once I do get there, there won't be any more problems," Beckham said on Thursday. "At the moment, we don't know. We're just kind of day-by-day. It's getting better. So we're going in the right direction."
3. LIONS INJURY REPORT
Did not practice: None
Limited: DE Ezekiel Ansah (knee)
Full participation: WR Golden Tate (finger)
4. GOODSON DELIVERS THE GOODS
Middle linebacker B.J. Goodson didn't see the field much his rookie season. In fact, he only saw action on 13 defensive snaps in 2016. After earning the trust of coaches and teammates this offseason, Goodson stepped into the starting lineup against Dallas. In his first career start, the Clemson product recorded 18 tackles (14 solo), twice the amount of any player on the field last Sunday.
"B.J. ran around," defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said. "The stats showed he made a lot of plays, and that's what you expect a MIKE linebacker to do. He's in the middle of the defense, and hopefully he continues to make plays like that."
"I'm happy for him," Harrison added. "I watched him. I told him coming into this offseason I wasn't a full believer in B.J. Goodson. But I told him even before this game, he made me a believer. I'm a 1,000 percent believer in B.J. Goodson and that was before you guys saw what you saw. We already knew that."
5. OFFENSE REMAINS OPTIMISTIC
With notable offseason additions like veteran receiver Brandon Marshall and first-round pick Evan Engram, the Giants entered 2017 optimistic that the offense, which averaged less than 20 points per game last season, would be significantly improved this year. Despite a poor showing in Week 1 against the Cowboys, the offense isn't sounding off any alarms just yet.
"As an offense, we're dangerous all around," running back Orleans Darkwa said. "The tight ends, obviously the wide receivers and who we've got. The running backs we've got in the room, we're dangerous all around. So everybody wants to scream and cry and panic about last week, I think we'll be fine as an offense and just get it going. It only takes one game."